Life Right Now, Parenting

How-To: Teach your child about money values

When Caitlin was born, I handed over the pink piggy bank that I grew up with over to her by placing it in her room. Every so often, we clear out the small change from our wallets and throw them in there for her as a start to a savings account.

Fast forward a few years and Caitlin’s grown accustomed to putting money (small change, mostly) into her piggy bank. Every now and then her father will help her to count her money and place the high values in a safe place, starting the filling up ‘piggy’ process all over again.

Whilst Caitlin is probably still too small to understand the full value about working hard for your money and reward yourself for it, we’ve started to slowly explain the fact that if you behave, mommy and daddy will give you some money that you can either save in your piggy bank (which is what we prefer) or alternatively, you can buy yourself a sweetie the next time we go to the shops.

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So this whole process got me thinking about how I was taught money values and how it influences your approach towards money, spending, saving and so forth. Whilst I was one of those very fortunate kids growing up in a home where there was never a shortage of anything necessary, I still had the value of hard work entrenched into me. My parents are entrepreneurs by default, which means that shop-talk was always present and there was (and still is) always work that needs to get done. Whilst my kid-self didn’t understand why they were constantly working like all…the…time, my adult-self understand that raising four kids and maintaining a functioning household takes a lot of extra hours and hard work.

To me, understanding the values of hard work and the value of money totally goes hand in hand. So, the basic steps that we follow in teaching Caitlin the value of both are as follow:

  1. Entrench that money doesn’t grow on trees. We don’t usually carry a lot of cash on us, but it also provides the opportunity to show Caitlin that money isn’t always readily available and we need to work well with what we have.
  2. You can’t have both; sometimes you need to make choices. There’s always that moment in the shops when there is more than one item that Caitlin would like. Now, whilst the easies option would be to buy both for her, it also gives the opportunity to teach her that you cannot always get both that you want, you need to choose what you’d like most.
  3. “I need it” vs. “I want it.” The difference between need and want is still a difficult one for little ones to grasp, however we’re trying very hard to teach her the difference (especially when it comes to sweets and toys)
  4. Include her in the paying process when going to the stores. We always give her the opportunity to hand the items she wants from the store to the cashier and give her the opportunity to hand over the card (even if it’s just the store loyalty card) for payment.
  5. Combine money, math and chores. If you help mommy with the washing or picking up of toys then you are rewarded and so it adds up.

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There are various other ways of teaching money values to kids, however the above, I’d like to think, is currently appropriate for Caitlin’s age. As she’ll grow older, we’ll include her in decisions like:

  1. Setup a savings goal. 
  2. Decide which item is the best buy. 
  3. Making money in fun ways. 
  4. Giving to charities. 

Ultimately, we hope that teaching Caitlin the value of money and hard work will equip her for adult life.

Why not share how you teach your child(ren) the value of hard work and money?

Much love,
Chantelle
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Handy Tools & Advice, Uncategorized

The Silent Treatment Smoothie… for Constipated Kids (& Adults!)

Something that not everyone is too keen to talk about… constipation. It’s all good and manageable when it is yourself (or another adult… hubby?) to worry about. But when it comes to your little one (no matter what age), it’s always a bit more of a daunting task.

Since we started Caitlin’s potty training (she was about 2 years old when we started… the same time when toddlerhood came in at full force) we noticed that she became more and more constipated. Not only was she more outspoken towards the food that she wants to eat (gone are the easy days of feeding veggies and fruit in a jiffy) but she also started showing her independence, of which one was to ‘hold it in’. This duo display of ‘I have a say in what I want to do’ caused havoc on Caitlin’s gut… ultimately, causing constipation issues.

We’ve tried everyting recommended by the GP and Pediatrician… all of them saying ‘it’s just a temporarily solution’ and ‘a lot of toddlers go through this period in their growing stages, this too shall pass’ (no pun intended). After different medication attempts that had us sitting up in the early mornings with a tummy going from completely bloated, constipated and sore to runny tummy crying on the loo sessions with multiple diaper changes in between.

As we went through it all, I decided that the medication’s not going to resolve our problem with the aftermath it had and I still needed to potty train Caitlin. So I decided to go the more natural route, researching ways to get her to eat more high fibre through dishes that she enjoys.

A year and a half later, we’ve now reached the stage where she is fully potty trained for #1 and have a toilet routine in place to get her used to doing a #2, alongside good list of food items that helps us get her tummy to go as close to normally as possible. This list of food items includes:

  • Squishies (these funky little packs are ideal all season long and the fruity flavours that includes tummy encouragement like prunes, guava, mango and pear are always on the shopping list) Visit their website for more info by clicking here.
  • Wholewheat pasta (Caitlin LOVES pasta, thus when I make her favourite Spaghetti Bolognaise, I always use wholewheat pasta. Fatti’s & Moni’s being the favourite in our house 🍝)
  • Digestive Biscuits (a favourite of mine that Caitlin adapted to eating, we sometimes treat her with the Baker’s Betta Snack Digestives that have a bit of extra love with some Chocolate or Caramel on… sugar rush galore, but as part of our morning coffee routine it fits right)
  • Wholewheat or Multigrain Bread (I usually opt for Albany’s Ultima range and a firm new favourite is their new Ultima Calorie Controlled Brown Bread. Simply divine and even better with less guilt. Top it off with Oh Mega Peanut Butter and a smidgen of golden syrup…your little one will be licking their fingers off!)
  • Hidden Veggies (hiding veggies is probably my biggest challenge with Caitlin. She immediately knows when there are veggies in a dish and refuses to eat it, even though she eats all her veg at school. Umatie’s Macaroni & Cheese is the only one that I’ve found Caitlin to enjoy and not picking up the veggies hidden in them. Hooray!!! PS. even onions count as a vegetable in Caitlin’s frame of reference 🙈)
  • Plain Double Cream Yogurt (We usually opt between Woolworth’s Double Cream Plain yogurt or Lancewood’s High Fat Double Cream yogurt that’s absolutely delicious with honey and fresh berries and/or nuts for breakfast)
  • Fresh Fruit (A staple in our home are Strawberries, Apples, Banana and Blueberries. I tend to buy berries from the gym’s health shop or direct from the source, the closest to us being Hillcrest Berry Orchards)

And lastly, a new discovery I’ve made is that Caitlin absolutely LOVES smoothies! Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner – it doesn’t matter, she’ll have a smoothie anytime. I’ve taken a bit of advantage of this by adding some ‘good for your tummy’ food items that she wouldn’t necessary eat (her exact words being “Ugh, Sleg Mamma!” with some additional mouth gestures and sounds 😄). The brilliant SMOOTHIE has come to this Mama’s rescue!

The Silent Treatment Smoothie: Gut Happiness in a Glass

  • half a cup of frozen banana
  • half a cup of frozen blueberries
  • half a cup of papaya
  • 3/4 cup of double cream plain yogurt
  • 1tsp honey
  • 3/4 cup of apple juice (or for something less sweet opt for milk or water)
  • 1tbsp of oats

Blend it all together for about 2 minutes and serve for immediate consumption.

If you struggle with a little one that’s at the age of eating solids and struggling to go poop, why not give our smoothie recipe a try? Packed with all the goodness of mother nature provides for us.

Much love, C
xxx

 

Life Right Now

How-to: Teach your child to deal with change

They say that change such as starting a new job, moving into a new home or having a new baby are the top three that cause the greatest amount of stress on a human being. This got me thinking…

If moving home or getting another addition to the family are part of the top three stress-causing changes that we could go through as adults, how does this not affect our children who do not have the emotional capacity to yet cope with such massive changes?

The reason for these thoughts running through my mind lately is duly caused by the fact that we are planning to relocate to the Cape Winelands (from the Northern Suburbs) by – hopefully – the end of the year. Along with this, we’ve been on the big hunt of finding another suitable school in the new town to where we are relocating and along with this, Caitlin’s current school is also expanding and causing some changes in structure and teachers etc. Needless to say, come the end of this year Caitlin will most likely have changed day supervision five times. That’s insane, right?! So much change for such a little person in such a small amount of time..?!

This brings me to my next question…

How does one teach your child to deal (or cope) with change?

As they don’t yet possess the coping skills that (most) adults do, it is up to us as parent to teach them the basics in which they can understand the changes about to happen and communicate how these changes affect them.

I’ve gone and done some research (as I’m one of those that absolutely hate to be unprepared for anything that I go through) and have found the follow five ways of teaching your child to deal with change:

1. Teach them to express feelings through words

Big emotions in little ones can be very scary! Not always knowing how to cope with them makes them ‘act out’ sometimes in a manner that we as adults do not always understand. When we teach our children to connect words to the emotions that we are feeling, it enables them to communicate to us what is upsetting them and in turn we understand what they are going through and can manage it accordingly.

When you’re little one gets upset, why not try and ask him/her:

How are you feeling right now? Are you sad? Offer words that they can connect to the feeling such as happy, sad, worried, anxious, scared, angry or frustrated.
Where are you feeling this emotion in your body? Is your heart racing or does your tummy feel tight?
What do you think caused you to feel this way? Help them to understand why they feel this way in order for her to get a better understanding as to how or why the feeling came about in the first place.

If our little one’s vocabulary is still developing, it may cause her to get more frustrated when you don’t understand what she’s trying to say to you. The use of an emotions chart works wonders in this as they can show you on the chart how they are feeling.

2. Establish their triggers

Do a bit of thinking as to what makes your child ‘act out’ or what situations she struggles to deal with and consider how your own behaviour could change to help her manage these situations more effectively. For example:

Does she cry or yell when you instruct her that it is now bedtime? Why not try a 5 minute warning before the time? Or better yet, a colour coded clock always seems to help as warning. Use the three colours of a traffic robot to colour in the last 15 minutes before bed time and highlight them to your little one every time it moves from green, to orange and finally to red (meaning bedtime).

3. Utilise what makes her happy

Identify and use the ways that your little one already uses to calm herself. Whether it be a bit of colouring, riding a bicycle or building puzzles. Whenever she gets upset, why not ask her if she’d perhaps want to do one of these activities to calm her down? Over time, these activities may turn into coping mechanisms for them.

4. Be present and understanding

When your child is feeling the pressure of her emotions getting the better of her, don’t just brush it off. Give her your full attention by focusing on her, listening to her, being patient with her and guiding her through the emotion through questions that help her manage the emotions effectively.

If they find you to be distracted, it could just make them feel even more out of control.

5. Utilise the help of others when needed

And finally, when you feel that you’re not coping (out of patience due to tiredness or work overload) rely on others. This not only helps you, but it also shows your child that there are many areas and ways of coping with a difficult situation, of which accepting help from others are one.

The above might be a lot to take in and patience is required throughout the entire process, but preempting and teaching your little one the basic coping skills will not only serve them throughout changes whilst they are little – it will also guide them throughout life as they build on these skills whilst growing up.

If you’re going through any changes right now or will be doing so in the near future and have anything to add to what I’ve shared in this post, please do comment below. It’s always great to share the knowledge amongst fellow moms and dads. In the end of the day, it takes a village to raise a child.

LOVE | Chantelle
xx